As part of its 15 year anniversary, President and Managing Partner Craig Goslin announced that the Saginaw Spirit will retire the jersey of former team captain and current Florida Panther forward Vincent Trochek when the team hosts the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds at the Dow Event Center on Wed. Feb. 1, at 7:05 pm.
“On behalf of Dick Garber, the Saginaw Spirit players, coaches and fans, we are very proud to welcome Vince Trochek back to the Dow Event Center,” Goslin said in an email from the team.
“His No. 89 will be the first jersey retired in our 15 year history and is a well deserved honor. Not only is Vince immensely talented, his compete level was always on high and his passion for winning, on and off the ice, is second to none.
“During the ceremony, we also are looking forward to recognizing his father, Vince Sr., his mother, Rita, and the entire Trochek family for their relentless support of Vince and the Saginaw Spirit Hockey Club.”
The 5-foot-10 182-pound native of Pittsburgh, PA left Saginaw as the No. 2 all time scorer with 240 career points (94-goals, 146-assists) in 236 games played with the organization.
“Considering all the great hockey players that have played for the Saginaw Spirit over the past 15 seasons, I am very much honored to be the first Spirit Alumni to have my jersey retired,” Trochek said in an email.
“My time as a player for the Saginaw Spirit helped me to develop my career both on and off the ice. I am very grateful and I won't ever forget what the organization has done for me.”
The Spirit drafted Trochek with the 24th overall pick in the second round of the 2009 OHL priority selection draft, spending almost four complete seasons with the team before being traded to the Plymouth Whalers halfway through the 2012-13 OHL season.
Trochek would go on to win the 2012-13 Red Tilson award as the most outstanding player in the OHL while also winning a Gold Medal for Team USA at the 2012-13 International Ice Hockey Federation U-20 World Junior Championship's in Ufa, Russia defeating Sweden 3-1 in the championship game.
He was drafted by the Florida Panthers in the third round, 64 overall, in the 2011 NHL entry draft, and after starting the 2013-14 season playing 55 games with the San Antonio Rampage in the American Hockey League, Trochek would make his NHL debut and finish the season with the Panthers where he registered 8-points (5-goals, 3-assists) in the final 20 games.
He started the 2014-15 season in San Antonio for just 23 games before making the permanent jump to the NHL with the Florida Panthers where he had 22 points (7-goals, 15-assists) through 50 games in the 2014-15 NHL season, then adding 53 points (25-goals, 28-assists) in the 2015-16 NHL season, his first full season in the league.
The Panther's rewarded Trochek in 2016 with a six year, $28.5 million dollar contract (with all $28.5 million dollars guaranteed) through the 2022 NHL season. He will Earn an average annual salary of $4.75 million dollars per year.
He seems to be proving himself in Florida as he's on his way to his most productive NHL season yet with 34 points (18-goals, 16-assists) through 50 games so far this season.
The Spirit, who are just 2 points behind the Flint Firebirds for the eighth and final western conference playoff spot, have two more games this weekend before Trochek makes his visit to the Dow Event Center Wednesday night.
Trochek will be available to sign autographs in the Bud Light Blue Line Club at the Dow Event Center prior to the start of Wednesday night's game.
Saginaw will try to extend its recent win streak to 4 games when it welcomes division rival the Windsor Spitfires to the Dow Event Center for a 7:05 pm face off Saturday night, before heading across the Blue Water Bridge to visit the Progressive Auto Sales Arena in Sarnia, ON for another division matchup against the Sarnia Sting in a 1 pm game Sunday afternoon.